STSSA Friends & Family News & Issues 11/23/2010
North Korea Reportedly Fires Artillery Near Southhttp://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/11/23/world/asia/AP-AS-Koreas-Tension.html?_r=1&src=twt&twt=nytimes
Kristian Dennard Jackson & Decarlos Lashawn Young of Detroit, Michigan are facing criminal charges related to the alleged gross abuse of a pitbull in August 2010. They allegedly set the young dog on fire after a failed attempt at hanging her to death. A bystander was reportedly able to videotape this terrible incident with a cell phone camera. Investigators were unable to recover the dog’s body, it is believed that her remains were discarded in the trash and hauled away.
Such cruelty, and indeed the expanse of criminal activity that accompanies dogfighting, demands meaningful justice from the criminal courts, and local citizens are encouraged to actively show their support for this important prosecution.
Please write polite letters to the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney, thanking her office for their earnest and professional work on this case, and encouraging that the maximum penalty be sought upon conviction.
The Honorable Kym L. Worthy, Prosecuting Attorney
Frank Murphy Hall of Justice
1441 St. Antoine Street
Detroit, MI 48226
Local residents are encouraged to support the prosecution by attending the criminal proceedings. A pretrial hearing is currently scheduled for Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. in Room 801.
Wayne County Circuit Court, Criminal Division
Frank Murphy Hall of Justice
1441 St. Antoine Street
Detroit, MI 48226
Case #10-012065-01 - Kristian Dennard Jackson
Case #10-012065-02 - Decarlos Lashawn Young
(Always contact the Court to confirm court dates and locations as they are subject to change.)
Thank you for taking action to keep your animals and communities safe.
For the animals,
Animal Legal Defense Fund
The Canadian and Ontario governments have made an offer to settle a boundary claim with Fort William First Nation near Thunder Bay.
The province announced the proposed settlement in a news release Friday, calling it a “significant step forward.”
The proposal includes about $154 million in financial compensation to be paid to the First Nation, and the transfer to Canada of provincial Crown lands on two islands in Lake Superior — Flatland Island and Pie Island — to be set apart as a reserve.
The chief and council have agreed to take the offer to the community of about 1,880 people for a vote on Jan. 22.
If the vote is in favour, the agreement must be approved by the provincial and federal governments before it can be finalized.
Canada’s share of the compensation money would be about $149 million, while Ontario’s share is about $5 million.
Settlement of the claim would resolve a historic grievance dating back to the early 1850s, the province said.
The boundary claim was submitted to Canada in 1986 and to Ontario in 1987.
As in such agreements elsewhere in Canada, private land is not taken away from anyone to settle any claims, nor is anyone asked to sell their land unwillingly, the release says.
“Like all negotiations, there have been ups and downs, but we have worked tirelessly towards a resolution that will benefit present-day members and future generations,” said Peter Collins, chief of Fort William First Nation.
“The settlement will also provide the resources that our First Nation needs to create businesses, employment and other opportunities for the long term which will benefit our members and the entire Thunder Bay area.”
The federal government has also moved closer to a resolution of the First Nation’s outstanding Neebing Surrender Specific Claim, which involves financial compensation only.
Negotiators for Canada and the First Nation have recently completed a draft agreement in that claim, which includes a payment of about $22 million. That vote is set for Dec. 4.
The Canadian Press
Update November 22, 2010
We made progress today with researching the oil drilling near Bear Butte.
Spoke with DNR this morning and expressed concerns about additional public notification and allowing further comments. At this point it will require appealing the decision in court, the only way this will happen is if the Tribes or another entity step up to do it. We now have copies of all the court documents, permits and evidence submitted by Nakota Energy and provided the information to the Tribes to review.
The challenge with this issue is, this is private land and they also own the mineral rights. This is very unusual and gives them an advantage. We are being told, as long as they have a permit to drill, they can proceed. DNR has issued the permit, which is governed by State, which supersedes County regulations. What a mess! This operation is all private, no state or federal monies are being used, so that eliminates other processes they would be required to follow.
Also spoke with USFWS this morning, they had not been consulted with this process. Bear Butte Lake is a National Wildlife Refuge in cooperation with USFWS, the Lake is home for migratory birds and endangered species. They are investigating the info and will get back to me with the outcome if they can do anything.
Spoke with Governor Rounds Senior Advisor today, expressed all the concerns with this issue. He will be discussing the concerns with the Governor and is suppose to be calling me back.
Governor Rounds has been a supporter of the Bear Butte issue for many years and attempted twice to acquire a conservation easement for a property located at Bear Butte. Unfortunately, it was voted down both times. He only has a short period of time left in office, not sure if he will be able to do anything, however at least now he knows there are concerns regarding the public comment period and how this was handled.
Not sure what the outcome of this will be, will follow up with these folks and see how we can proceed.
Will keep everyone posted as I find out more information.
Thank you for your continued support for the Protect Bear Butte efforts.
“Our Sacred Ground, is NOT your playground”
In peace & solidarity,
Obama's Visit: US Merchants Eyeing Indian Agriculture
Ground Reality, 5 November 2010
At a time when America is faced with an economic downtrend, US President Barack Obama comes calling in a few days hoping that India will bail him out of the seemingly unending economic crisis. With a huge business team – more than 200 top business chiefs -- accompanying him, US is expecting to increase it exports to India by at least 400 per cent.
Food and Agriculture is one of the major thrust areas where President Obama is likely to make a strong pitch.
In 2006, the last time the US President visited India, George Bush had formally launched the Rs 1000-crore Indo-US Knowledge Initiative in Agricultural Research and Education, when he made a quick visit to Hyderabad. For years later, in 2010, the Indo-US Knowledge Initiative (KIA) appears to be almost in a cold storage, but after having successfully promoted unwanted US technologies on several farm universities.
This followed from the previous visit of prime minister Manmohan Singh to Washington in 2005. Addressing a joint session of the US Congress during his visit, prime minister had said: “The Green Revolution lifted countless millions above poverty.... I am very happy to say that U.S. President George Bush and I have decided to launch second generation of India-US collaboration in agriculture."
Following the agreement, a team of Indian agricultural scientists visited US in December 2005 to work out the modalities of the programme. It was followed by a return visit by US agricultural scientists, and the entire exercise has been kept confidential and prepared in a hush-hush manner.
It was feared that the Indo-US agricultural treaty would bring Indian agriculture under the direct control of US Corporate houses. The dominance of the American agri-business became clear when it became known that the US supermarket giant Wal-Mart, food giant Cargill and the seed multination Monsanto were on the board of the Indo-US Initiative. All these companies are now well entrenched, ready for the next phase.
President Obama is likely to re-energise the dead Indo-US Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture. Since the agreement is facing un-surmountable hurdles because of the inability of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) to pay for staff travels and technologies being imported, it is likely that the US would push through more collaboration in agricultural scientific research through the US-India Strategic Dialogue.
While collaboration in farm research will pave the way for the entry of US agribusiness multinationals, especially technology companies like Monsanto and Du Pont, the thrust of the US talks is going to be on opening up of the food retail and insurance sector. A few weeks back, President Obama had expressed hope that India would allow FDI in big retail. The G-20 Summit in Toronto some months back had also in its final communiqué decided to lift all hurdles to allow big retail to operate.
As a welcome gesture, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to announce the formal approval for FDI in big retail. It was primarily to justify the need for FDI in retail that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) had come out with a highly flawed discussion paper to indicate government’s rethinking on the controversial subject. “The agriculture sector needs well functioning markets to drive growth, employment and economic prosperity in rural areas,” the discussion paper said. A number of economists and researchers joined the chorus singing praise for the role the supermarkets can play.
Despite the destruction of farming globally by the supermarkets, the Ministry for Commerce and Industry is gung-ho about allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retailing, which means allowing the big players like Wal-Mart and Tesco to swamp the Indian market. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has time and again spelt out the need to allow FDI in big retail. Ministry for Commerce had even set up a small committee to prepare the ground for its entry.
If the supermarkets were so efficient and provided dynamism, I would like to know why the US is providing a massive subsidy for agriculture. After all, the world biggest retail giant Wal-mart is based in America and it should have helped American farmers to become economically viable. But it did not happen. American farmers have instead been bailed out by the government, providing a subsidy of Rs 12.50 lakh-crore between 1995 and 2009, and this includes direct income support.
The supermarkets have therefore failed the American farmers.
India is therefore importing a failed economic model, which otherwise would help the economic recovery of America.
Entry of the big US food retail signals the complete corporate takeover of Indian agriculture. At a time when the government is busy laying out the infrastructure for the 2nd Green Revolution, which means strengthening agribusiness, a plethora of Indian laws on water, seeds, pesticides, fertilisers, land use policy, contract farming, biodiversity, intellectual property, biotechnology and genetic engineering have either been suitably amended (or are in the process) to facilitate the entry of multinational companies. One of the major thrust areas where Manmohan Singh is expected to assure President Obama of his un-stinted support is the introduction of the controversial genetically engineered crops.
India has already prepared a bill – National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority bill -- awaiting introduction in parliament that allows for a single-window clearance for genetically-modified crops, something that even the US does not allow within its own borders.
In the last few weeks, multinational companies like Monsanto, Wal-Mart and also the US Grain Council has been making a fervent pitch to life the barriers that have come in the way of US exports to India. It is not without reason that the Ministry of Commerce has been seeking fast conclusion of the Doha round of the World Trade Organisation. In the last few weeks, the US has forced Russia to cut down its agricultural subsidies by 50 per cent as a pre-requisite for its entry as a member of the WTO. It is also asking India, Brazil and China to further reduce the industrial tariffs.
India is expected to assure President Obama that it will not press for the reduction of the massive US farm subsidies, especially in cotton, but will provide more market access to US farm goods. All non-trade barriers are being gradually removed, and the US will find it easy to rebuild its sagging economy on the strength of the Indian market.
Indian agriculture provides a sustained market for the US companies. What is good for the commercial interest of the US companies is not necessarily going to be productive for Indian farmers. But then, Manmohan Singh has time and again talked of shifting 70 per cent of the rural population into the urban centres. Bringing agriculture under the yoke of the US business and industry will hasten this population transfer.
Jesse Ventura Exposes the JFK Assassination Conspiracy Nationally
SPLC has won another victory for children in the Deep South. We sued the Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD) on behalf of a first-grader who was handcuffed and shackled at school. The settlement reached with the RSD prohibits this treatment in its schools and all school security personnel will receive formal training.
SPLC filed a federal class-action lawsuit against a for-profit Mississippi youth correctional facility to stop the inhumane treatment of children. According to the lawsuit, the children live in barbaric conditions and are subject to horrific sexual and physical abuse. This suit is another step in our ongoing fight to reform the juvenile justice system in the Deep South.
Help Secure Release of 192 Idaho Mustangs
Tell BLM to release all the Saylor Creek horses back to the range. Take Easy Action by November 22.
Meet General and Commander, Still Together After BLM Calico Roundup Ordeal
These two elder stallions were captured on January 16, 2010 from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in Nevada's Calico Complex. Now they are part of Return to Freedom's Calico rescue project.
General is a band stallion and Commander is his loyal companion.They have remained together throughout their long ordeal - from the BLM helicopter stampede that drove them out of their homeland in the magnificent Black Rock Desert, to the feedlot-like conditions of BLM's short-term holding facility, and now to their temporary quarters where they await creation of Return to Freedom's wild horse preserve. Read more and help Return to Freedom get General and Commander back home.
BLM Publishes FY 2011 Roundup Schedule: ~11,000 Mustangs Targeted Removal
Despite calls for reform, BLM is pressing ahead with an aggressive roundup schedule, in which 10,746 more wild horses will be permanently removed from the Western range.
The majority of these horses will be sent to government holding facilities, where they will join the estimated 40,000 wild horses already warehoused at a cost to taxpayers of $50 million this year. In the coming weeks, we will be organizing public outreach to Congress to demand accountability and reform of the BLM's costly and inhumane wild horse and burro program. Getting as many friends and family involved in this process is critical as we will be competing with many issues for our legislators' attention. The more voices we have for the mustangs, the more likely we are to be heard. Stay tuned. . . . AWHPC Founding Sponsor 14 Hands Wines: Advocacy Sponsor
METEPENAGIAG FIRST NATION - Hundreds of mourners filled St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in this tight-knit aboriginal community on Thursday morning, as dignitaries, family and friends paid their last respects to First Nations leader Noah Augustine.
Pall bearers carry the casket of Noah Augustine from the St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Red Bank, on Thursday. Augustine, a prominent aboriginal activist and former chief of the Metepenagiag First Nation, was killed when his 2009 Dodge Ram left the road last Saturday night and struck a tree before going down an embankment.
Click to Enlarge
Photo: Glen Vienneau/For the Telegraph-Journal
Roy Whiteduck of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation spends a quiet moment remembering his former roommate, Noah Augustine, at the site of the crash that claimed Augustine's life last Saturday. Augustine's funeral was held Thursday afternoon.
The 39-year-old former Metepenagiag First Nation chief and native rights activist, who died in a traffic crash on Saturday night, was remembered as a kind father, loving husband and a "force for change."
Every pew in the old wooden church was filled with family, First Nations chiefs from across New Brunswick and other dignitaries, including Premier David Alward, Lieutenant-Governor Graydon Nicholas, Senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas and former MP Bud Bird, with whom Augustine had co-founded a business liaison group to bring First Nations together with New Brunswick business people.
The church hall next door, where the service was broadcast on a video screen, was also filled to capacity with some mourners standing outside in the cold November wind as they strained to listen to the funeral.
"He was a tireless ambassador for this community and First Nation peoples everywhere," said Richard Lang, a close friend who delivered the eulogy.
At 11 a.m. just as the church bells chimed, the hearse arrived behind an RCMP escort cruiser. Soon afterward, pallbearers carried the coffin inside and then down the aisle.
In a sombre procession, Augustine's common-law wife, Micheline Léger, and other family members took their seats at the front of the church as a handful of First Nation chiefs, including Jesse Simon from Elsipogtog, Candice Paul from St. Mary's and George Ginnish from Eel Ground, filed in as well.
Honorary pallbearers included former New Brunswick MLA and cabinet minister T.J. Burke, who described Augustine as someone whose leadership style he admired.
The hour-long funeral service, presided over by Father Curtis Sappier, included Scripture reading, the singing of How Great Thou Art in the Mi'kmaq language, as well as the playing of a recording of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.
Some mourners quietly cried during the funeral service.
Augustine, who grew up in Metepenagiag First Nation, formerly Red Bank, held various leadership positions over the years, including chief of Metepenagiag First Nation until May of 2010, president of the Union of New Brunswick Indians and co-chair of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs.
He had garnered national attention back in the 1990s when he brought native groups together to fight for aboriginal logging rights in New Brunswick.
But shortly afterward, he was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Eel Ground resident Bruce Barnaby in September 1998.
A jury later acquitted him.
At the funeral on Thursday, it was perhaps the words of a young son saying good-bye to his father that most poignantly captured the loss that will be felt by people whose lives were touched by Augustine.
"My father was a great man," Zachary Simonson, 18, told those in attendance as he stood at the front of the church.
The teenager, dressed in a dark suit while closely resembling and sounding like his father, read a poem written by Augustine.
The poem, entitled Child of a Burning Legacy, begins with "I was born on an Indian reservation" and provides a stark insight into what were some of Augustine's struggles as a First Nations man trying to do right by his people.
"I've fought battles no man has ever won, And I've lost like the rest of them," were Augustine's own words.
Simonson then read a poem he'd written for his father.
That poem, entitled The Man Amidst the Flame, movingly begins the same way as his father's poem: "I was born on an Indian reservation" and ends with a hopeful line: "And the Man amidst the flame has new dreams to share."
Augustine's daughter, Chelsea Karasak, 12, also read a poem, entitled Choices, that she'd written for her father.
"I'm happy to say my daddy made many right choices," she said.
During the ceremony, there was no mention of the deadly crash that took Augustine's life at around 10:20 p.m. on Saturday, when he lost control of his Dodge truck, which struck a tree and then crashed down a steep embankment near Metepenagiag First Nation.
Police say alcohol and speed were factors in the crash and that Augustine wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
A passenger who was travelling with him in the truck is recovering from injuries. Police haven't released that person's name to the public.
At the funeral, longtime friend Timmy O'Shea spoke of the close bond he shared with Augustine since the two were in high school. He referenced his friend's strong will, which, while allowing him to accomplish amazing things, was also what made him not listen "when he needed to the most.
"Noah was a great guy. Rest in peace, buddy," O'Shea said.
Following the interment, which took place alongside the church, the lieutenant-governor, a First Nations member from Tobique, told reporters he was "deeply moved" by Augustine's poem and proposed that it be read in schools for children to learn from the words.
"They were inspiring words," he said. "If they would read these words in our classrooms for our kids, who knows what the future will be?"
Nicholas said he'd known the aboriginal leader since he was his student at St. Thomas University; the two had also crossed paths often over the years.
"Everybody knows he was a visionary," Nicholas said. "The other thing is that he inspired a lot of young people. I think the next generation of young children, future leaders, will see something in that."
While it may be too soon to see clearly what Augustine's legacy will be, Nicholas said, the opening of the Heritage Park at Metepenagiag First Nation, which shows the history of the Mi'kmaq people, is one of his most important contributions.
"To me, that is a big thing in terms of the identity of our people and to encourage others to come here and learn the history," he said.
Elsipogtog First Nation Chief Jesse Simon said Augustine will be missed.
"It's always hard to lose a leader, but it's even harder to lose a friend," he said.
Simon said the two worked closely as chiefs and became close friends.
"We were the young guns coming in," he said, with a laugh. "He would be pretty happy with the turnout here. He enjoyed people getting together so in a way, it's a celebration of his rebirth elsewhere ... The work that he's done will carry on.
Update from the Field
November 18, 2010
BFC is the only group working in the field every day
in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.
* Update from the Field
* VIDEO: A Night With the Buffalo
* Holiday Gift Idea: Wild Bison 2011 Calendars
* The Evolution of Migration
* Last Words
* By the Numbers
* Helpful Links
* Update from the Field
"The Last Wild Buffalo Hunt to be Held in America." Historic archive image. Click herefor larger image.
The annual migration of wild bison advocates is in full swing as people converge from the four directions upon Buffalo Field Campaign Headquarters near West Yellowstone, Montana. For a decade and a half BFC volunteer patrols have been documenting the management of America's last wild bison in the field and working to protect the bison and their habitat. As our 2010-2011 field season gets underway this week, nearly a foot of snow has fallen here just outside Yellowstone's western boundary, hinting of a heavy winter and a challenging time for migrating bison. Winter herself is a formidable enough challenger, yet wild buffalo face a far greater danger from a cattle industry-driven management plan designed to keep Montana's landscape bereft of wild bison through hazing, shooting, capture, and slaughter.
In addition to the management plan, the annual Montana bison "hunt" began November 15 and will last through February 15, 2011. It is the only hunt of an ecologically extinct species and one of the longest-running hunts of any wildlife species in the state. As of this writing there are no wild bison in Montana and BFC patrols haven't observed any approaching the ecologically meaningless Yellowstone/Montana border. Wild bison are not allowed year-round access to their habitat in Montana and they are chased from or killed upon their native ground by the hundreds every spring. As if the management plan weren't bad enough on its own, any buffalo that migrate into Montana prior to February 15 will be shot by hunters. Under the unique bison hunting regulations, the more buffalo that migrate into the state, the more tags Montana's Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) will issue to kill them.
FWP's hunt regulations boldly state that one of the main objectives of the hunt is to "control bison in Montana" to address the scientifically unfounded and wildly exaggerated fears of Montana's livestock industry that native bison threaten cattle with the disease brucellosis. Wild bison have never transmitted this disease--which cattle originally carried to the Americas--to livestock. Elk, believed to have transmitted brucellosis to cattle, are allowed to enter and exit Montana year-round with out being subject, as the buffalo are, to intrusive government actions.
But this is about to change. Under pressure from the livestock industry Montana recently announced plans to capture and test up to 500 cow elk for brucellosis exposure. Exposure is no indicator of infection, and elk and bison often develop resistance to the disease. Unlike bison, who are killed when they test positive, none of the captured elk will be sent to slaughter regardless of the test results. This is yet one more contradiction belying Montana's anti-buffalo prejudice.
Buffalo Field Campaign believes that efforts to prevent the spread of livestock diseases, including brucellosis, should be directed at livestock. Anyone familiar with the history of the American West will recognize the slaughter and harassment of Yellowstone bison and elk as the latest battles in a centuries-old range war. Brucellosis is used by the livestock industry to sway public opinion against wild bison (and now elk), to control their movements, and to keep their habitat open to cattle.
As the snow piles up outside the BFC cabin we are making ready for another winter, our 14th in the field. As Montana and the federal government prepare to waste our tax dollars to harass and kill native elk and bison, we draw strength and prepare to protect the bison and elk in the field, the courts, the legislatures, and in the media.
But we can't do it without you. Join BFC on the front lines this season, support our work, contact your members of Congress, the media, and everyone you know, to urge their help for America's last wild buffalo.
*VIDEO: A Night With the Buffalo
While Mike and Noah were traveling the west coast on BFC's 2010 Road Show, they met up with the B-Media Collective, a "Portland based video art collective that stands in solidarity with local and global people's movements through the socialization, documentation, creation, and exchange of media between communities in the global north and south." In support of BFC's work, the B Media Collective took BFC's video footage, and created a Road Show video to help spread the word. Watch this 10-minute piece, A Night With the Buffalo, here.
* Holiday Gift Idea: 2011 Wild Bison Calendars
You, your friends, family, and colleagues can celebrate wild bison 365 days a year with this breathtaking calendar featuring the photos of BFC supporters and volunteers. These calendars make terrific gifts, so get your 2011 Wild Bison Calendar while they last!
* The Evolution of Migration
BFC, other genuine bison advocates, and First Nations buffalo cultures know that actions taken against the last wild, migrating population of American buffalo - under the Interagency Bison Management Plan and Montana's so-called bison hunt - pose a serious threat to their migratory instincts. By killing and harassing the animals that are first to migrate, and by chasing buffalo off of their chosen ground in the midst of their migration, the U.S. and Montana government is slowly - and knowingly - aiming to diminish this instinct that is so critical to the wild integrity and ecological influence of buffalo. To help illustrate this point, we wanted to share this important article with you, "How Mass Migration Might Have Evolved," which appeared in Wired Science in the early fall. Parting encouragement here is that wild bison *do* still migrate, and adds significant strength to why it is so important to protect America's last wild buffalo.
* Last Words
"Bison in Yellowstone National Park carry bacteria that cause a disease known as brucellosis or bang's disease. The disease-causing bacteria can be transmitted from bison to cattle. If domestic cattle are infected, there are negative effects to individual cattle producers in the form of a loss of production, loss of markets, and costly preventative measures, including vaccination. Brucellosis in Yellowstone National Park bison is one of the primary reasons that attempts are being made to control bison in Montana."
~ Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), Bison Hunt Regulations 2010. This cattle-based propaganda language demonstrates that FWP is catering to livestock interests with this this so-called hunt, and is using it as another tool to keep wild buffalo out of Montana. Read the full bison hunt regulations here.
Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to email@example.com. Thank you all for the poems, songs and stories you have been sending; you'll see them here!
* By the Numbers
AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2010-2011 Total: 0
2010-2011 Slaughter: 0
2010-2011 Hunt: 0
2010-2011 Quarantine: 0
2010-2011 Shot by Agents:
2010-2011 Highway Mortality: 0
2009-2010 Total: 7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,709*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortality
Media & Outreach
Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
BFC is the only group working in the field every day
in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.
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